Editorial: Journalists sometimes don’t report on everything
The art of journalism, when you get down to it, is knowing what to include, and what to exclude. A reporter is assigned a story and they go to work, learning as much as they can about that story in the time provided (which is never enough).
When they are writing their stories they have to make difficult choices. They have a lot more information than the newspaper has space. Not everything gets into the story. We try to make sure it’s fair, and balanced, and that all the important information is included.
And there are times when we learn things and make a decision not to report it.
We’ve received a number of communications asking us to report on a recent incident involving a child in the area. We are aware of the incident, and we’re checking in with law enforcement officials to monitor it. At this time, we have decided not to report on it.
We also have policies in place that sometimes require us not to report on local deaths.
When a tragedy such as a child dying happens, it’s a punch in the gut to all of us. Emotions are raw, and some may feel the need to rush to judgment without having all the facts. We all are looking for answers and desperately want to believe there was something that could have been done to avoid that outcome.
However, none of us knows the journey of another person or family. We don’t have all the information, and we’re unlikely ever to get that information. Rushing to judgment and starting to lay blame is irresponsible, especially when there may be no one that deserves that blame.
It’s frustrating, and that is a small part of what makes it a tragedy.
Last year we had a similar incident happen involving a child, and The Daily Courier did not report on that case either.
We will continue to gather the facts and allow officials to conduct their investigation. Once they determine the cause of death we will determine how best to do our jobs and what policies to apply.
But for now, our thoughts, prayers and well wishes are with the family and friends. The rest of us should offer no judgments, just sympathy and compassion.
(Editor's note: This editorial has been edited since it originally published.)